Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Instagram has launched a new version of its popular app called Instagram Lite — a smaller and slimmed-down version of the popular app but aimed at developing markets where data plans are limited.

Whenever Instagram releases a new feature or product such as their new video platform IGTV, the company makes sure everyone is aware of it. However, the new app for Instagram quietly appeared in the Google Play store this week without as much fanfare.

According to the company, the smaller Instagram app allows you to "save space on your phone and download it quickly," which is appealing to anyone who has limited data plans or poor access to wireless service.  Aside from limited wireless data, Instagram Lite appeals to people who might have older phones with limited storage space.

TechCrunch reports a spokesperson from Instagram said they began testing Instagram Lite in Mexico this week. "We are testing a new version of Instagram for Android that takes up less space on your device, uses less data, and starts faster."

 

Instagram Lite features

Instagram Lite has many of the features the regular app has, with the exception of certain video features that consume more data. Users can still post photos and edit them with filters and share multiple photos to Stories. You’ll still be able to view Stories and use the Explore app to find new content. 

You won’t be able to message friends and share videos on Instagram Lite, however, the company says that functionality will be added at a later date. 

Instagram Lite: What you need to know about the slimmed-down app for Android

New Instagram app size

The Instagram Lite app is significantly smaller than the regular Instagram app. The app is 583 kilobytes compared to the full-size app, which is 32 megabytes on Android. Instagram on iOS is currently 82.9 megabytes.

Is Instagram Lite available for iPhone?

Currently, Instagram Lite is only available for mobile devices using Android. The company did not say if they will ever release a version of the app for iOS. The logic behind this is, however, is simple. More people around the globe have devices using Android OS than Apple’s iOS. And if Instagram wants to tap into emerging markets or places with limited cellular service, promoting a slimmed-down version of one of the most popular apps sounds appealing to anyone who wants to join the Instagram community, but doesn’t want the app to chew up all of their data.

Instagram hit 1 billion users last week and is continuing to find ways to grow in new markets, so the idea of creating Instagram Lite for areas where mobile service isn’t that great seems like a great move.

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